Ostara Recipe: Gyro-Style Beef and Lamb Burger Recipe
Beef and Lamb Burger Recipe with Gyro Seasonings and Toppings
My gyro burgers are possibly my greatest contribution to the free world. I share it proudly with you now.
For our family’s Pagan holiday Ostara, lamb just always seemed like a natural choice for our holiday dinner in a celebration of springtime. Of all the lamb dishes I’ve made—leg of lamb roasts, lamb chops, rack of lamb, etc.—nothing made as big a hit with both kids and adults as these burgers. It’s a combination of beef and lamb with gyro seasonings and toppings. You can have all the flavor in a gyro with the ease of making a burger! If you love a good burger and a good gyro, this is the best of both worlds.
To top it off, I’ve included a bonus recipe below for easy home-made tzatziki sauce (that creamy, cool white gyro sauce).
These can be made indoors in the oven under the broiler, or, if you prefer an outdoor celebration you can grill them. Of course, you don’t need to be Pagan or to celebrate Ostara to enjoy these burgers, but if you are it does make for a sumptuous sabbat feast.
A Tender, Moist and Flavorful Burger:
- Prep time: 40 min
- Cook time: 8 min
- Ready in: 48 min
- Yields: 6 hefty 1/3 lb burgers
If You Try 'Em, Please Rate 'Em
- ½ large yellow onion, grated
- 1 tbsp garlic, finely minced
- 1 tbsp rosemary, dried ground
- 1 tbsp marjoram, dried ground
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- 3 slices white bread, crusts off
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1 lb ground chuck, 80/20
- Vegetable oil, to brush grill
- 6 large pieces of pita bread, (use burger buns if you prefer)
- 12 oz Tzatziki sauce, (see bonus recipe below)
- Your favorite gyro toppings
Gyro Beef and Lamb Burgers
- Measure out your seasonings into a bowl: onion, garlic, rosemary, marjoram, salt and pepper.
- Tear white bread into chunks and place it in a bowl. Pour milk over it and mash it with a fork to a pulp. This makes them really tender.
- Mix lamb and chuck in a large bowl. Add seasonings and milk/bread mash. Mix it lightly (see burger cooking tips below).
- Divide mixture in half. Divide each half into thirds.Form each lump into a loose, flat patty, and put them on a plate or tray. Depress the center of each patty with your thumb.
- Refrigerate the patties for 30 minutes.
- TO BROIL THEM IN THE OVEN: Turn on your broiler to high and take the patties out of the fridge. Put a wire rack in a baking tray. Brush the wire rack with vegetable oil. Lay the patties on the rack, giving them some space around each one. Put it in the oven for about 3 or 4 minutes. Flip when edges are starting to brown, and let them sit under the broiler for another 3 or 4 minutes.
- TO GRILL THEM: Make sure your grill grates are clean or you’ll get a lot of sticking. Preheat grill to medium while the patties chill. Brush the clean grill grates with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the grill for 3 or 4 minutes, until the edges start browning. Flip once and cook and additional 3 or 4 minutes.
- Patties are done when the center registers 158 on a meat thermometer. Transfer them to a clean platter and let them rest 15 minutes.
Gyro Meat- Delicious but Intimidating
Gyro Burger Serving Suggestions:
Lay a patty on pita bread and fold over, or cut the bread open and put the patty in the pocket.
Now for the toppings: I like about 2 tbs Tzatziki sauce, some crumbled feta cheese, some sliced tomato and a fine slice of red onion, some pitted and chopped greek olives, a little lettuce and/or spinach leaves. Some like to hit it with a little hot sauce.
You know what you like on your gyros, so go nuts!
These also make a great bunless burger for carb-watchers, so just toss them on a Greek salad.
If you love Greek cuisine, make some of your own!
Great Burger Making Tips
- Always mix meat and ingredients lightly, fingers open, turning and breaking apart and turning the mixture.
- Never squeeze or smash meat tightly when mixing or forming patties; compacting the meat too hard makes them tough.
- Chill patties before cooking to help them hold their form better.
- Make a deep thumb depression in the center before cooking to prevent them from 'puffing up' in the center.
- Never squeeze down your patty with a spatula-- you're squeezing out all the juice!
- .Let burgers rest 15-20 minutes. They'll be juicier.
Tzatziki Sauce is So Refreshing!
Bonus Recipe: How to Make Tzatziki Sauce - IT'S EASY!
If you can’t find a container of tzatziki sauce ready-made, make it fresh. It’s actually very easy! You will need:
- 2 cups of yogurt (I like Greek yogurt for this)
- 1 cucumber
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp minced mint leaves
Line a colander with a clean tea towel or a double layer of cheesecloth. Put the colander in a bowl. Put the yogurt into the towel or cheesecloth and put the whole thing, bowl and all, into the fridge for 2 to 4 hours to drain excess moisture.
Peel the cucumber. Cut it length-wise and use a spoon to scoop out and discard all the seeds. Chop up the remainder of the cucumber flesh finely and put it in a clean tea towel or doubled cheese cloth. Gather up the towel or cloth with the cucumber inside, and twist the ends together. Twist and twist over the sink to squeeze out all the excess moisture out of the cucumber.
Mix the yogurt, cucumber, garlic, oil, vinegar and mint together in a bowl. Salt to taste.
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If you're a fan of a really great burger recipe, please make these and let me know if you love them as much as me and my family do!
Tzatziki sauce actually makes a great topping for any burger, as well as many sandwiches and dips. Once you try it and find out how simple it is to prepare, you might find yourself getting addicted to it.